Education Opinion: Religion has a place in public schools By The New Political Posted on February 13, 2013 7 min read 1 0 434 Having a little faith is becoming a costly trait these days. Tiny Jackson Middle School, nestled in the Appalachian town that bears the same name, made a tiny ripple in national headlines over a portrait of Jesus Christ that has been hung in the building for 65 years. A federal lawsuit brought on by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claimed the display to be unconstitutional in its promotion of religion on public school grounds after a complaint was filed by a local family. With cases similar to this making news throughout the country in recent history, a small public school in Appalachian Ohio didn’t seem to carry much weight to the innocent bystander and the ACLU did not seem to be backing down: “Our position on this is clear…the portrait is unconstitutional sponsorship of religion and should be removed,” said spokesperson Nick Worner. That is until Hiram Hasser and David Shaw showed up with different points of view. Hasser, the director of litigation for the Liberty Institute, a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of public religion displays, and Shaw, an attorney at Washington, D.C. based law firm Covington and Burling, came to Jackson with a plan. The portrait was originally said to be given to and accepted by the school district by the local HI-Y club in 1947. HI-Y is a club organized by the Young Men’s Christian Association for high school boys intended to “create, maintain and extend throughout the school and community, high standards of Christian character…” Seeing as the portrait was related to a student group, one could argue its removal would be abridging their free speech, and after some research Hasser and Shaw backed up that argument. The two discovered that not only had the club never given the portrait to the district, but there were not even records of an exchange ever existing, only reaffirming the insinuation of the portrait being an item of “private speech.” “It would be unconstitutional to remove it,” said Shaw after the decision. But in today’s politically correct world bygones can never be bygones and even the truly politically correct word of the Constitution is often not enough to appease a public used to getting what they want. The district has been advised to open up a policy allowing other student groups to hang portraits in the school as well of figures they perceive to be inspirational. Pushing aside the regrettable fact that it took a case on a national level for a policy like this to be passed, the fact that we continually feel the need to appease everybody in our country is becoming played and problematic. Having a portrait of Jesus Christ in a school is not pushing any 14-year-old toward a life of celibacy or Christianity. But would it be so bad if it did? If a young boy or girl went home to research who that man was and what he stood for, why is this problematic? On one side of the discussion, it’s OK to believe in something. Just because a child’s parents may be atheists doesn’t mean that child can’t make a decision on his own. On another side, maybe it would be a positive for our children to learn something other than the biased big government crap we print in our public school history books. What is Jesus if not a historical figure or better yet THE historical figure? A little education about a man that shaped our world for better or for worse isn’t a bad thing. You don’t have to believe in a damn thing to believe that. With public religion today being seemingly only acceptable in professional sports we should allow our children to have an education that includes or at least acknowledges its existence. In a world filled with pregnant 13-year-olds, “sexting” and Buckwild, having a little faith shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing. It should be viewed as one cost we’re all willing to pay for.